hotel
Afghan Refugees Trespassed Scottsdale Gated Community

January 24, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

A group of Afghan refugees were caught wandering the golf course of a local gated resort community in Scottsdale, according to security reports first obtained by the Arizona Daily Independent. The group was part of the Afghan refugees housed at the Homewood Suites, a nearby hotel that made headlines last year for sheltering illegal immigrants for around seven months. The refugees aren’t confined to the hotel and permitted to roam the surrounding areas at their leisure; the hotel sits across the street from the gated community.

Mike Anderson — security director for the community, Gainey Ranch Golf and Country Club — informed residents that the refugees were anticipated to be gone from the nearby hotel by April. Anderson further informed residents that their staff had upped security measures.

“The Homewood Suites site is being used by the federal government to temporarily house Afghan refugees evacuated by the U.S. in August 2021. The families and individuals housed there are free to come and go as they please,” wrote Anderson. “These individuals who are found walking on the course GRCA believes are from the settlement program defined above and followed vehicles in through the north vehicle entry gate. The individuals were escorted out of the community.”

As AZ Free News reported last week, not even Scottsdale’s leadership or law enforcement were apprised of the refugee situation until over a week after the federal government began to house them in the hotel. Although the hotel no longer functions as the Homewood Suites — or even would be identified legally as the Homewood Suites — the managing company answered the phones last year and again this week as the “Homewood Suites.” 

It appears that the lack of notice from the federal government didn’t give Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) leadership any pause.

Unlike their response to parental concerns over the presence of comprehensive sex education (CRE) and critical race theory (CRT) in curriculum, SUSD was quick to act when they learned of the refugee children. AZ Free News reported Sunday on Superintendent Scott Menzel’s announcement promising SUSD would immediately plan to provide educational services and support to around 80 school-aged Afghan children. 

Gainey Club security alerted the Scottsdale Police Department (SPD) of the trespass incident. SPD contacted the group managing the hotel, one hired by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), to put the refugees on notice about trespassing at Gainey Ranch. 

Locals have begun to report sightings of Afghans panhandling on the streets.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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